Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When Everything Old Is New Again

Talk about feeling every arthritic inch the geezer. When I was Googling the netz to research my usual snarky story on Christmas toys and Christmas joy, I came across a piece by toy historian Philip Reed, who'd dredged up an old Gannett newspaper piece by Yours Truly, from way back yonder in 1978.

Then, as now, Star Wars was all the rage. Reading my old article brought back memories of how sick I was of Star Wars even then. And I wasn't the only one. Remember the parody by Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live? I used to sing that lounge lizard ditty under my breath all of the time, to the tune of the Star Wars theme song.... Star Wars, Nothing but Star Wars, Nothing but Star Wars, All of the Time.

I also used to sing it to my two stepsons when they came over on the weekends and announced that all they wanted for Christmas was Star Wars crap. When the older guy came to visit me again over the summer, and we were reminiscing, he said the thing he most remembers about those days was me, singing the Star Wars song parody to them over and over again, like a demented lullaby. All of the time. Oy vey. He got me singing it inwardly again, totally against my will.

  So you will be glad, or sad, as the case might be, to learn that Star Wars toys are only ranked Number 5 in popularity this year. It must be the toy version of the Vietnam Syndrome.

But don't despair. Because on top of the 2015 Wish List, according to Google (who else?) are drones. President Obama may once have joked that you'll never see them coming, but they're coming this year, right down the chimney. Whoosh. Maybe the drones can do us all a favor and blast the Star Wars crap right out of the sky.

Number Two is something called Shopkins, which I confess I have never heard of. Google them if you feel like it. I don't feel like it. There is enough crass consumerism without trying to make it sound like a cuddly kitty.

Hoverboards are in third place. Judging from the photo, they look just the perfect gift from stressed-out parents who in the olden days would just sarcastically tell the kids to go out and play in traffic. Seriously, this gizmo has "trip to the emergency room" written all over it. So make sure your Obamacare policy is up to date before putting it under the tree this year.

Look Ma, No Hands! (who needs teeth anyway)

Number 4 is Legos. There is nothing dangerous about Legos, unless you give them to a child who likes to eat tiny objects. Or unless you're a mom who foolishly walks around barefoot the week after Christmas, or who foolishly doesn't check for loose bits of plastic among the pine needles before vacuuming the rug. Legos are death to vacuum cleaners and toes alike. Take it from one who knows.

Number 5 is actually Star Wars-specific, not general Star Wars crapola. This year's hot item is a Droid. Maybe it will get the kids used to the Jobless Economy. No Luddite action figures this Yule, I guess.

But re-reading my old article, I was kind of stunned to remember that back in the day, they actually sold a doll that changed its skin color! Suntan Eric and his entire family of melanin addicts went from pasty white to deep bronze if you held them under the light, then back to privileged pale once rescued from the intense wattage.

And then there was Baby Wet N Care. I wrote,
 Not only does it wet, but its little derriere erupts in big red spots. But never fear: "YOU make her well, curing that unsightly diaper rash with a special cream, ingredients unknown.
And if you really care about Baby Wet N Care, you'll want to invest in the special "electronic beat stethoscope", sold separately. That, apparently, will diagnose baby's heart murmur before it's too late.
I don't know if another Baby accessory was a CPS worker, or if you were just supposed to use Suntan Eric's wife to play the part. If she was healthy enough, that is. The Suntan Family didn't come provided with any mystery lotion to protect them from those cancer-causing rays.

Toy-sellers could never get away with advertising this 70s doll today:
One of the more unusual dolls on the market this year is Ideal's "Whoopsie," about $13. The package makes it sound as though this creature comes from an advertisement in the back pages of a men's magazine. "Just squeeze my soft tummy," she coos on the label. "My hair flips up and I whistle "Whoopsie!"
However, there apparently is a thriving black market for vintage Baby Whoopsies, even films of her in action. I Googled her, but my conscience prevents me from providing any links.  Although I do think it's rather tempting to wrap her up, put her on a Hoverboard, and then aim a drone straight at her.

Stayed tuned for more Christmas cheer the rest of the month. Coming soon: another Sardonicky update on that perennial NSA favorite: Elf on a Shelf.

1 comment:

Leo Noel said...

rerun from last yule season

timelessly apropos ~~~~